Statement Canadians for Peace an

Statement Canadians for Peace and Socialism

Challenge Prime Minister Harper’s Extra-Parliamentary Rule

Full Support for Convening an Emergency Meeting of the Parliamentary Public Safety Committee and the House of Commons National Security Committee

Put CSIS and the RCMP under the Control of the Elected Members of Parliament

Stop 21st Century McCarthyism in its Tracks

June 30th, 2010

The June 28th call of Miguel Figueroa, Leader of the Communist Party of Canada for a public investigation into police violence during the G8-G20 mass demonstrations in Toronto was taken up on June 29th by Liberal Security critic Mark Holland and on June 30th by NDP Parliamentary Caucus Security critic Don Davies (see below).  Both opposition parties are calling for the immediate convening of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Safety and for a full debate in the upcoming House of Commons National Security Committee.  These statements follow a rising chorus of outrage by the labour, peace and democratic movements decrying police violence directed at participants in street demonstrations.

The NDP and Liberal calls for a public Parliamentary investigation must be supported and massively by the leaders of the labour, peace and democratic movements of the people and by each and every Canadian who witnessed the events in Toronto of June 26-28th 2010 and were shocked and appalled .

The mass mobilization of the internal security forces, the police and military and its deployment as coordinated emergency measure force was reminiscent of the War Measures Act during the October events of 1970.  The state sponsorship, organization and command and control structure were obvious. This was not crowd control; this was state repression of democracy.  This was a demonstration of a planned massive mobilization of the repressive forces of the state by the Harper Conservative minority government against the people.  It was a state organized civil war games and there was nothing civil about it.

The NDP-Liberal demands for a Parliamentary Investigation must not only be supported, but immediate steps taken by all of the representatives of the people’s movements involved in these events for standing before these Parliamentary Committees to testify and to ensure that any investigation is a people’s investigation, not a government cover up 

Such an investigation above all else, must expose, as the NDP is correctly demanding, answers to “the questionable political decisions that led to these events”.

Part of such an investigation must include a full explanation to the people of Canada by executives responsible for CBC programming as to why they approved a CBC two part interview with CSIS Director Richard Fadden on the eve of the G8 and G20 meetings that accused elected members of the BC and Ontario legislatures of acting for foreign government.  

This shocking unsubstantiated accusation by a Harper appointee came just days before high level meetings between the President of China and the Prime Minister of Canada aimed at improving mutual trade and reducing friction.  It also preceded by a week of action by the FBI to arrest alleged Russian spies in the USA alluding to a Canadian connection just a day before meetings in Washington between President Obama and Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.

The investigation must also demand to know why the mass media journalists of the major networks were imbedded among the police while the alternative media were harassed and excluded.  The investigation of the corporate media must also include explanations as to why the mass corporate media producers portrayed all of the youth involved as suspect and what was particularly disturbing, under reported allegations of  mistreatment of incarcerated youth in particular the alleged abuse of young women.  The anti-youth bias of the media accords with the views that section of public opinion that believes young people are essentially criminal and strengthened youth crime legislation that seeks to jail adolescents is justified.  

On the background of these events are the recent condemnations of the RCMP and CSIS by the Air India Commission and a damning report by BC authorities of RCMP use of tasers two and half years ago leading to the death of a Polish citizen.

Pending is the implementation of a directive of the Speaker of the House of Commons to implement his decision that the Harper Government must table documents that may confirm Canadian Forces participation in alleged torture of Afghan detainees.  The NDP has refused to participate further on the grounds that the Harper government is placing a ban on MP’s speaking publicly about and revealing to the electorate what government documents may contain.  Prime Minister Harper has decreed MP’s may see but not tell - a clear violation of the Parliamentary rights of MP’s.

Labour, peace and democratic activists with long memories know of another time when such extreme right-wing interference in elective democracy became the means by which the unelected internal security agencies of the state began to exceed its mandate and presume to rule openly.  It was the era of McCarthyism.

Witch hunts ensued and were accompanied by massive increases in arms spending, ousting militants from the trade unions, muzzling artists, film makers and writers, and imposing on the working press a form of psychological terror.

McCarthyism ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians simply because they dared to hold and openly declare political views deemed by the RCMP and the CIA to be subversive. We forget that history at our peril.

The attempt by the modern day cabal of extreme right wing forces, the internal security agencies and the corporate controlled media to confine the public discourse “for or against the police actions” is folly and should be rejected.

What happened in Toronto was neither Black Bloc nor Police excess.  It was what it was.  A billion dollar political event, staged with the tacit approval of the Harper Conservative Minority Government, actively promoted by Security Minister Vic Toews, staged managed by Tory insiders as part of their re-election plans.

That is what the investigations must focus on.

Don Currie, Chair Canadians for Peace and Socialism.

Liberal Party Letter

The Honourable Vic Toews, P.C, M.P.
Minister of Public Safety
269 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P8

Dear Minister Toews,

In the wake of the extraordinary costs and numerous violent incidents surrounding the G8 and G20 summits over the weekend, Canadians are left shaking their heads and wondering just who is responsible for this mess.

As Canadians now know, Prime Minister Harper made the decision to hold the G20 in downtown Toronto – a decision that led to exorbitant costs and a nearly impossible security situation for police.

As you are well aware, your ministry coordinated security for the G8 and G20 summits, in close consultation with the Prime Minister’s department, the Privy Council Office.  Despite spending nearly $1 billion on security – three times more than the security cost of any other summit in history – you were unable to contain violence and prevent damage.  It is particularly shameful on your part to leave Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to explain what happened when the structure put in place by your government – the Integrated Security Unit – was coordinated from the PCO.

Following the violence and the large number of arrests on the streets of Toronto, Canadians want answers on the security decisions surrounding the G20.  In particular, the public is asking why Stephen Harper decided to hold the G20 in downtown Toronto, and how could the federal government have so badly mismanaged security preparations.

As the minister responsible, I would like you answer the following questions:

1.  Before the decision was made by your government to move the G20 summit to downtown Toronto, what security advice did the government consider?

2.  Why did your government ignore the advice of the City of Toronto to hold the G20 at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, which would have been easier to secure and would have caused fewer disruptions to business?

3.  Who designed the G20 security plan?

4.  Who approved the security plan and the detailed expenditures for it?

5.  Who was ultimately giving security commands during the G20 summit?

6.  Did anyone on the political side get involved – directly or through PCO – in operational decisions during the summit?

Over the coming weeks, through the House of Commons National Security Committee, I intend to get answers to these questions.  I welcome your response as soon as possible.


Mark Holland, MP
Liberal Critic for National Security and Public Safety

NDP Letter

New Democrats make formal request for committee hearings on G8/G20 security

Wed 30 Jun 2010

OTTAWA – New Democrat Public Safety and National Security Critic Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) has written a letter to recall the House of Commons Public Safety committee to study all issues surrounding security at the G8 and G20 summits.

The letter has been circulated to other parties for their signature, and will trigger a committee meeting within five days of its receipt by the committee clerk.

“The implementation of summit security has raised critical issues that the committee needs to start work on immediately,” said Davies. “Serious questions have been raised about the conduct of security personnel, violations of civil liberties, violence and property destruction and the questionable political decisions that led to these problems.

“After spending $1 billion on security, Canadians deserve answers.”